General News of Saturday, 17 November 2018
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) does far better in fighting corruption than the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), former President John Dramani Mahama, has said.
“In the fight against corruption, the NDC has a better record [than the NPP] in terms of regime accountability.
“The NPP has proven in government that it is always reluctant to pursue their own despite the swelling stench of corruption around their administration,” Mr Mahama, who was addressing delegates of the NDC on Saturday, 17 November 2018 at the Accra Trade Fair Centre, stated.
He has also accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of scheming to always exonerate his corrupt officials.
According to Mr Mahama, the “true test of fighting corruption is holding your own accountable when they go wrong, and, so far, the president has failed this test”.
“Most appallingly, the president has become the clearing house for clearing his appointees accused of corruption. He has on several occasions cleared his ministers and appointees when allegations of corruption have been made against them. It was a low-day for Ghana when the president peddled falsehood on a panel at a recent South African investment forum that all allegations of corruption made against people in his administration have been investigated and cleared by independent investigative bodies. That was an obvious untruth”.
In Mr Mahama’s view, what “Ghanaians have seen so far is lip service in the fight against corruption. The Special Prosecutor’s Office, their flagship programme, remains starved of anti-corruption instruments, remains starved of funds, and remains starved of personnel and logistics to do its work.
The government of Ghana has allocated GHS180 million to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to resource it to fight corruption.
This was announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday, 15 November 2018 when he delivered the 2019 budget statement before parliament in Accra.
“Mr Speaker, in line with government’s promise to protect the public purse, His Excellency the President remains committed to the fight against corruption.
“The Special Prosecutor’s Office, which is established under the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act 2017 (Act 959), is one of the highest priorities of government.
“In this budget, the Special Prosecutor’s Office has been allocated an amount of GHS180 million from GoG with a commitment to provide additional resources during the course of 2019 to enable the Special Prosecutor’s Office to carry out its mandate,” he said.
This comes after the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, had bemoaned the lack of resources for his office to function.
Parliament passed a law in November 2017 to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor as a specialised agency to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers and individuals in the private sector implicated in corrupt practices.
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA), at its annual General Conference in Koforidua as well as other Civil Society Organisations, had called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, resource the office of the Special Prosecutor to carry out its mandate.